Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Some Birds around Lake Okeechobee

Hi Everyone, I love bird watching around the shore of Lake Okeechobee. It is so peaceful and one is certain to see a variety within just a few feet of each other! The Blue Heron above is a favorite. It is fun to watch him slowly spot fish and as quick as a flash, dip that long neck into the water and come up with a fish

Along the sandy beach, one sees terns and seagulls galore.

To tell you the truth, I am not sure what these fat birds are. I took this photo from the car and only got this back view.

This fellow is cocking his head to one side, as if to question just what I am doing!
This is a Great White Heron in the foreground and a little coot back in the water.Is that a big Gator in the distance? Not really, but they are often spotted in this big lake. Hope you liked this little tour! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Beautiful Mandevilla

Hello everyone,
My neighbor, Margaret, has the most beautiful Mandevilla vine growing all across the fence in front of her house and up over the awning at the door. It gives the look of a sweet cottage garden and is just eye-catching! Everyone talks about how gorgeous it is, so I wanted to share.

The Mandevilla comes in various colors but the pink is really outstanding. I have heard that people in Northern climates plant them in  pots and treat them like annuals, maybe using a trellis for them to climb and have them on the patio all summer. In Florida, we have them year around outside, unless an unusual freeze should happen, which isn't likely in this zone.

We have had rain showers and even storms every day all summer, so evidently the Mandevilla likes lots of water.
Here you can see some of her other beautiful plants. Her garden is really a show stopper!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Freshly Baked Banana Bread and Peanut Butter/Chocolate....

Oh My, Everyone! What a yummy treat I had today at tea time! When you have a bunch of really ripe bananas, you just have to bake banana bread! So I did and the recipe turned out great. I will give it to you at the end of the post. It has a nice deep crust and is moist and delicious on the inside.

A good dollop of butter never hurts, either. Yum!
All ready for tea, and then I happened to think of a gift I received on my birthday from a friend.....a carton of whipped chocolate peanut butter spread by Jif, called Jif Whips.  It is out new in the market and is delicious on toasted English Muffins and pretzel sticks and crackers, as well.

So, I tried a bit on the banana bread and was that ever good!
Just love my tea time!  Here is the Banana Bread recipe:
Grease and flour a bread loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Cream together 1/2 stick butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. of vanilla and 2 eggs. Add 4 mashed very ripe bananas alternating with 2 cups flour, 2 and 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt.   Mix well and pour in your pan. Bake 1 hour and test for doneness. Mine was done. I let it cool about a minute and cut a big piece and dug right in. No use waiting, although I am sure it will only get better as the flavors blend.  Try it!  It is SO good!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Birthday Fun and An Artful Tea

Hi Everyone, It has been awhile since I have blogged! You see, my birthday came and I was so busy opening presents and eating cake that I just couldn't do another thing!! What fun! I really isn't so bad to get old when you can have this much fun! Above is a big basket my friends Margaret and John sent and talk about an eating frenzy; it contained 20 pieces of delicious fruit and that many packages of goodies, too, plus salt water taffy! Yum.

I also received a cute surprise package of fun things, including the sweet little tea bag holder (below) with an Irish theme!

Another package came with a Wristlet that I will love carrying, and such a lovely color.

And a cute Eiffel Tower salt and pepper shakers! I love Eiffel  Towers. I just used some to decorate the tables at my Watercolor Class Tea Party.

It wasn't enough to do Birthday partying and then quit. Oh, no...I gave a tea for my watercolor class.There were 12 of us for tea and I was having so much fun that I completely forgot to take pictures, so after the
 guests all left, I sat up a place setting to show you how it looked. I used Fiesta dishes and mixed up all the bright colors. Each person had a little easel with her name on it for a place card and favor. The napkin holders were like palettes  and we had strawberry tea to drink.  Tiny tea sandwiches and cakes and cookies completed the menu.

In the center of each table was a chunky little art book with an Eiffel Tower on top.

Once again, we nibbled the afternoon away!
I showed some goodies on palette serving dishes. Really cute.  My watercolor class enjoyed the afternoon and we planned for an exhibition of their paintings in September.What a great class I had this summer and what good paintings they produced. More of that to come.